Report from Boston: The Peace Movement vs. the 9/11 Truth Movement
by Barrie Zwicker
What goes with the “split” between the anti-war movement and the 9/11Truth movement? Some light was shed on this regrettable reality in Boston the weekend of Jan. 30-31, 2010. On Saturday New England United (NEU), an umbrella group, held an anti-war strategy conference. The next day Northeast 9/11Truth held its strategy conference, in part an analysis of the previous day’s events.
As a lifelong member of the peace movement, and a committed 9/11Truther, I attended all of the Saturday conference where I was a workshop leader, and the first half of the Sunday conference (having to leave early because of travel arrangements). My main points:
1 There is a split but it has not been initiated, nor is it maintained, by members of the 9/11Truth movement. Truthers stand just as proudly and tall in their opposition to war as anyone in the peace movement. Truthers also are just as fully dedicated to the goals of justice, equality and environmentalism as are anti-war activists.
2 The split is unilateral from the anti-war movement’s side, especially from leaders and organizers. Those at the grassroots level trust and take their cues from the leaders. The result is a widespread attitude toward 9/11Truth that ranges from skepticism to outright hostility. This is why I choose the heading “The Peace Movement versus the 9/11Truth Movement.”
3 A leading cause of the unilateral split is the work of planted agents of the state – spooks -- whose instructions are to do this splitting. The Chinese call such agents “splittists.” The peace movement has been around for decades, so there’s been loads of time for the national security state to install numerous agents within it. Added to their usual instructions to slyly foment divisiveness within peace groups and derail effective anti-war actions are new orders to combat the dynamic truth movement.
Point 3 is tough, I know. But it’s an issue that must be confronted. I am not alone in my assessment. At the Sunday Truthers conference the first topic was “How explain the resistance to 9/11Truth in the peace movement?” Paul Zarembka, Professor of Economics at the University of Buffalo and editor of The Hidden History of 9/11, offered four reasons. His first: “agents and gatekeepers among us.” Sander Hicks, author of The Big Wedding: 9/11, the Whistleblowers, and the Cover-Up, offered seven reasons. His first: “The state, COINTELPRO.”
Of course, activities by state infiltrators do not completely explain the split. Other reasons include fears of all kinds, ignorance of history, a powerful culture of militaristic nationalism in the USA and the largest reason everywhere, the treasonous complicity of corporate mainstream media and almost all so-called alternative media. They conspire in de facto censorship, deliberate avoidance of investigative reporting plus psychological warfare against the Truth movement.
These explanations for denial of or hostility to 9/11Truth also apply to the population at large and across issues. Peter Phillips is a professor of sociology at Sonoma State University in California, president of the Media Freedom Foundation/Project Censored and serves on the 9/11Truth steering committee. Phillips and Mickey Huff in a recent article state: “An international truth emergency, now in evidence, is the result of a lack of fact based, transparent, and truthful reporting on fraudulent elections, compromised 9/11 investigations, illegal preemptive wars, compounded by top down corporate media propaganda across the spectrum on public issues.” They add: “Consumers of corporate news media—especially those whose understandings are framed primarily from that medium alone—are embedded in a state of excited delirium of knowinglessness.”
In my estimation the black operations of government moles are a key reason for the malfeasance of the media as well as the main explanation for the peace movement’s antagonism against 9/11Truth. The undoubted existence of undercover operatives and agents provocateurs has not been discussed nearly to the extent justified. A major elevation of this topic is ‘way overdue.
Followers in the anti-war movement “do not realize,” as Paul Craig Roberts wrote Sept. 15th, 2009, in Information Clearing House, “that by accepting the [government’s] 9/11 explanation they have undermined their own opposition to the war. Once you accept that Muslim terrorists did it, it is difficult to oppose punishing them for the event. [Anti-war activists] do not understand that if you grant the government its premise for war, it is impossible to oppose the war.”
It’s tough to prove agentry. Agents do not “out” themselves. Covert activity is their game. Deception and betrayal are their tools. Other approaches, however, are available to spot spooks. “By their fruits ye shall know them” is helpful. When ostensible peaceniks committed to peace and democracy engage in name-calling, we are entitled to ask whether they are simply individuals lacking civility and self-control, or are individuals deliberately causing tensions. When those who “study peace” have had eight years to invest just an hour or two looking into the overwhelming evidence that the official conspiracy theory of 9/11 cannot possibly be true, and have failed to do so, we are entitled to theorize beyond the explanation that we are simply “puzzled.” When members of the peace movement avow that they are committed to truth, justice and peace but fail in their commitment to truth in connection with 9/11 -- arguably the most pivotal war-triggering event of modern times – we’re entitled to question the authenticity of their commitment. It would be insulting to explain their shortcoming as due to stupidity. And if the explanation is ignorance, after eight years during which all persons interested in current affairs must have encountered evidence of 9/11Truth, it must be in most cases some variation of wilful ignorance.
Consider how easy it is for agents of the state to operate. First, the state has virtually unlimited resources for recruiting, training and deploying agents. Second, agents have no legal or moral restraints. They act with complete impunity. (It’s gratifying that there now is an International Coalition Against Impunity, www.icaihokok.org). Volunteer organizations are easy as pie to infiltrate. All it takes is a trained sneak with a believable “legend” to lie his or her way into the confidence of the group.
The world of “guerilla marketing” provides examples of the ease with which groups can be manipulated. A vodka company identifies heavy vodka drinkers -- those who already drink their brand and others they entice to try it. The drinkers are all friends together. The heavy users are “opinion leaders.” By their drink orders at bars they are “role models” who trigger others to order the same brand they do. It’s called peer group pressure. Even more effective is a conscious agent following sophisticated instructions in swaying a peer group.
There was an illuminating lead-up to the conference of New England United. Only after months-long effective lobbying by an indefatiguable member of Northeast 9/11Truth did NEU organizers agree that a person identified with the 9/11Truth movement could be one of four panelists in the afternoon. This was Peter Dale Scott, former Canadian diplomat, an English professor at the University of California in Berkeley and author of The Road to 9/11, whose 9/11Truth credentials in fact are shaky. Nevertheless, his acceptance at an anti-war gathering in 2010 was generally agreed to be a “breakthrough” -- a sorry observation.
It turned out that he had to cancel scant days before, as his wife took seriously ill. The Northeast Truthers proposed that, should an attempt to have Scott address the NEU conference by video-over-Skype fail, that I be the stand-in. The organizers rejected me (believe me, this account is not motivated by sour grapes) on the basis, after alleged “extensive research,” of my alleged “extreme rightwing” views and my alleged long and close association with historian and writer Webster Tarpley. He in turn was identified only as a LaRouchite. For anyone who knows me this description was bizarrely incorrect. If news of my “extreme rightwing views” reaches the Mounties it will puzzle the hell out of them.
As it turned out Scott’s addressing the audience in Boston from California via Skype worked. Interestingly, he made this comment: “This brings us to 9/11. […] before the last plane had crashed in Pennsylvania, the White House authorized the institution of so-called Continuity of Government [COG] changes. There is no doubt that COG was introduced – the 9/11 Report confirms it twice, on pages 38 and 326. And I have little doubt that the COG plans, still in force today under president Obama, are the justification for the surveillance agents who are with you in the room as I speak to you at this moment.”
The 300 or so attendees at the NEU conference studiously avoided the 9/11Truth literature table. Book sales are a key indicator of interest. I sold three of the 20 copies I had brought of my book Towers of Deception: The Media Cover-Up of 9/11 (fortunately the rest sold to Truthers the next day). Other Truther materials similarly were mainly passed by.
After the speakers of the Saturday morning panel had been heard, the floor was opened for questions. The first questioner was a young man in a green tee shirt. I’d say he was a plant. With reference to nothing any of the panelists had said, he claimed to be “disturbed” by “the logic” of the 9/11Truth movement, and asked the panelists what they thought. Glen Ford of the Glen Ford Black Agenda (radio) Report responded that “the inside job [theory] doesn’t fly” and that “we have all the dirt on what they [the oligarchy] [has] already done.” This garnered a great deal of enthusiastic applause, accompanied by a few boos. The next day Sander Hicks reported a conversation he had subsequently with Ford, who told him that he answered the question the way he did “out of deference to the organizers.”
Nevertheless, the workshop session entitled “Covert and False Flag Operations and 9/11: Pretext for the Continuing War on Terror” was standing room only with about 65 in attendance. My poll of those attending showed that only two believed the official 9/11 story. All the others raised their hands for “inside job.”
At the Sunday Northeast Truthers conference Hicks suggested that part of the reason for peace movement members’ antagonism to 9/11Truth is that they know they are the “fading sunset left” who have “lost the passion,” whereas the Truther movement is fresh and passionate. Along the same line of thought Frank Tolopko, producer of the bi-weekly radio program “The 9/11 Report” on WBCR in Great Barrington, Mass. suggested a fundamental reason that a left gatekeeper such as Amy Goodman would reject 9/11Truth is that she is promoting “a concept of bourgeois democracy that is over.” As I quoted Chris Hedges from his new book Empire of Illusion: the US form of governance has become “participatory fascism.” Goodman takes foundation money to promote democracy now on Democracy Now. Said Tolopko: “If the system can’t be reformed, if 9/11 is an inside job, then she’s out of a job. Goodman is terrified.”
Alphonse Olszewski of St. Louis, Missouri, founder of Veterans for 9/11Truth, knows the power of naming. One contribution he’s made to anti-splittism is renaming his group Veterans for 9/11 Truth, Peace and Justice. There cannot be peace without justice and there cannot be justice without truth. Anything that underscores the primacy of truth, in my view, is to the good. I was gratified to see somewhere over the weekend that the admonition “speak truth to power” is outdated, because “power never listens.” The suggested update: “Challenge Power With Truth.”
For those members of the peace movement who are sincere and think for themselves, I can’t recommend too highly a videotape of a short talk given by Graeme MacQueen at the “We Demand Transparency” conference organized by Sander Hicks in New York City Sept. 12 and 13 of 2009. MacQueen is an associate professor in the Religious Studies Department and in Hamilton and former director of McMaster’s Centre for Peace Studies.
In concluding his talk, addressed to “not just people in the peace movement but everybody,” he said: “This is the worst time in history to inflame societies with the spirit of war; it is the worst time to be taken in by fraudulent trigger incidents, the most important time to reject the war system, and to co-operate with the rest of humanity to solve the grave ecological problems we face, which collectively threaten our civilization.” He went on to quote the testimony of a New York fireman, Kenneth Rogers. Rogers testified he looked directly at the collapsing towers on 9/11, hearing explosions and seeing evidence of them. “The reasons he saw things the others didn’t see,” MacQueen said, “is because he didn’t leave the scene and he didn’t turn his head away. He stood there and he looked at it and that’s all I’m asking members of the peace movement to do. Stop turning your head away; don’t flee the scene. Look at it, please.” The video can be found at http://www.boston911truth.org